Temuera Morrison was acting on screen at age 11. Two decades later he won Kiwi TV immortality as Dr Ropata in Shortland Street, and rave global reviews as abusive husband Jake Heke in Once Were Warriors. Since reprising his Warriors role in a well-regarded sequel, Morrison has starred in Crooked Earth, Tracker and Mahana, hosted a talk show and a variety show, and played Jango Fett in two Star Wars prequels.
As the Head of Content Development at Māori Television and commissioning consultant for TVNZ's Māori and Pacific Programmes, Nevak Rogers is always looking to capture that elusive rangatahi audience. The former journalist and moved into directing and producing Māori and Pacific Island stories. She has presented popular reality shows like Marae DIY and produced doco Ngā Tamatoa - 40 Years On.
Tainui Stephens is a Kiwi screen taonga. Since joining Koha as a reporter in 1984, he has brought many Māori stories to television, and worked on everything from Marae to Māori Television's version of It's in the Bag. Among the notable documentaries he has directed are Māori Battalion doco March to Victory and award-winning show The New Zealand Wars. He was a producer on Vincent Ward film Rain of the Children.
Kimo Houltham was raised in Rotorua, and grew up speaking Māori. He performed kapa haka for tourists as his first job, and got his screen break as a 16-year-old at a speech competition, when a TV producer suggested he audition for Māori Television’s flagship youth show HAA. Hosting gigs on music series LIPS, rangatahi shows I AM TV and talent quest The Stage - Haka Fusion followed. Alongside work as a high school teacher, Houltham has also acted: he was one of the warriors in te reo action feature The Dead Lands, and the heroine’s gay best friend in Rotorua-set TV drama This is Piki.
Rangi Rangitukunoa has a background in performing, kapa haka and theatre — he has shared stages with Te Waka Huia, Mika, and Moana and the Tribe. His screen credits include acting roles (indie comedy Crackheads) and presenting Māori Television motoring show Meke My Waka. Behind the scenes work as a cameraman led to a run of directing gigs on Māori TV programmes, from preschool to talk shows, to setting the tone for The Stage - Haka Fusion, as director of the first episode. In 2016 he created and directed Māori warrior series Kairākau, which dramatises legendary stories and skills from the past.
Geoff Steven's career spans documentary, experimental film and photography. In 1978, he directed acclaimed feature Skin Deep, the first major investment by the newly established NZ Film Commission. Steven followed it with Strata and a long run of documentaries, before time as a TV executive at both TV3 and TVNZ. He now heads the Our Place World Heritage Project.
In a television career spanning more than 25 years, Erina Tamepo has produced a wide variety of shows, many from her time as an in-house producer for Māori Television. Among Tamepo’s credits is popular Friday night karaoke competition series Homai Te Pakipaki — which ran for nine years — and Willie Jackson’s Newsbites, which was nominated for a Qantas Award for Best Current Affairs Series in 2010.
Stephen Stehlin has been involved with flagship Pacific show Tagata Pasifika for over 30 years. Alongside Ngaire Fuata and John Utanga, he launched SunPix in 2015. The company took over Tagata Pasifika after Television New Zealand outsourced its stable of Māori and Pacific programmes. Of Samoan descent, Stehlin has been honoured as both a Samoan matai chief, and as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit.
Māori and Cook Island producer and director Lanita Ririnui has made a career telling the stories of youth, women, Māori and Pacific Islanders. Her extensive CV includes Pasifika youth show Fresh, Māori Television's flagship sports show Code, and interactive website Poi 360.
Pua Magasiva — brother of actor Robbie and director Miki — played nurse Vinnie Kruse on Shortland Street. After a brief role on Shortland Street in 1999, Pua got a starring role in the Haka and Siva episode of 2001 anthology series Aroha, as a young Samoan man romancing a Māori woman twice his age. He went on to play the title character in hit movie Sione's Wedding and its sequel, in-between extended Shortland shifts as extroverted fan favourite Vinnie. He also won fans for his work on the Power Rangers franchise. Locally he spent time as a co-presenter on Pasifika youth show Fresh. Pua Magasiva died in May 2019.